Finnish Illustrator Oili Tanninen
Despite her massive popularity in her home country, Oili Tanninen is not the first name that springs to mind when thinking of Finnish authors/illustrators. But like Tove Jansson's Moomins, Tanninen's beautifully illustrated children's books are more than deserving of a place on our bookshelves.
Her beloved books are created using a mixture of collage and drawing with a bold and basic colour palette. Her reason for choosing to work in just red and black for her 1967 classic, Hippu, was simply that it needed to be cheap to print, however this stylistic choice makes for an engaging and timeless read. Her work focuses on the "ordinary, everyday things, events that children could relate to". Loveable characters, household objects and daily activities give otherwise unrealistic stories ( a mouse befriending a homeless dog, for example) a sense of familiarity and comfort.
Like the books of Ann and Paul Rand; shape, colour and movement take precedence in Oili Tanninen's illustration style, making her work ideal for younger children. There's a fun, natural flow in her books which will no doubt encourage multiple re-readings.
Here at Material we think Tanninen's work should be appreciated by young and old alike, so make a space on your bookshelves for your new favourite Finnish author/illustrator, Oili Tanninen.
Buy Hippu by Oili Tanninen online here